Weddings are one of the happiest times in a couple’s lives. But it can also be one of the most stressful. Planning a wedding and a subsequent wedding reception involves organizing hundreds of details, from food and activities to invitations and decorations.
The stress and wedding planning associated with it is only amplified if you’re planning on hosting a large wedding. It can be fun to have every aunt, uncle and cousin there to celebrate your special day, but it can be a challenge to keep everything in order for a guest list that may number more than 100 people.
For as fun and memorable as weddings are, the costs that accompany them seem to go up every year too. The average cost of a wedding in 2012 was $26,951 and the average cost of a wedding reception was $13,106.
It’s easy these days to get overwhelmed while you are window shopping online as there are scores of color schemes, themes and food options available for couples to choose from.
With so many sources of stress when it comes to wedding planning, here are some useful tips if you’re planning on hosting a large wedding:
- Keep costs in mind: The average cost of a wedding reception was $13,106 in 2012. Adding guests and party favors and other bells and whistles can be fun, but it can also drive the bill up real quick.
- Don’t be afraid to browse: More than 90 percent of brides use the Internet to plan their dream wedding.
- Consider renting: Wedding rentals and party rentals can be invaluable for couples who choose to hold backyard wedding and receptions.
- Keep things simple: Choose 3 main colors to create the theme for your dream wedding and then keep that theme going. Carry it over to accessories like napkins, plates, place cards, pennants, balloons and paper pom-poms.
- Use the comforts of home: If you have a large home or yard, consider having your wedding or your reception there. Rent some tables and chairs and tents to provide some shade for your wedding guests.
- Survey the venue: If you do opt not to do a wedding or reception at home, make sure to visit your venue to be sure it will accommodate the number of people on your guest list. Seeing it in person can help you visualize the set-up you want and whether your plan for 25 tables, a dance floor and centerpieces will work.
- Make the most of your party rentals: If you are hosting a wedding or reception, you will likely need a rental tent, so if possible order chairs and linens from the same company.
- Don’t be afraid to DIY: Party rentals can take the stress out of planning, but if you’re trying to keep costs realistic in preparation for hosting a large wedding, consider doing some of the preparation yourself. Make your own invitations; keep the floral arrangements to a minimum and do the catering yourself or through a family member.
- Keep your guests engaged: Having family there to celebrate the big day can make it that much more memorable. But with a large guest list, it can be hard to find time to spend with every single guest that attends. There are plenty of party rentals available, depending on what your interests are. Many party rentals companies offer dance floor rentals or photo booth rentals to keep your guests entertained. Give them a reason to get up and move around.
- Maintain the guest list: Hosting a large wedding can be a blast, but do you really need to invite every cousin, former roommate or friend you want to middle school summer camp with? Common wisdom says that if you haven’t spoken to someone in the last five years or can’t see yourself spending five minutes with them at your wedding reception, they probably should be on the list.
Your wedding day and wedding reception should be one of the happiest and most memorable times of your life. Take the stress out of it by keeping a reasonable guest list for a large wedding and plan ahead to take all the stress out of your big day.